In a few days, President Trump will be nominating someone to become an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. The president has described such appointments as being, next to declarations of war, among the most important actions that he will take as president.
He is certainly right that SCOTUS appointments are way up there in importance. Whether the Court "stays its judicial hand" or becomes a bit more legislative in its approach; whether it interprets law in a more conservative or expansive interpretation of its role and the law, well, that has dramatic impact on our daily life. I paid $6,000 more in health insurance premiums in a single year because the Court found that Obamacare involved a "tax" and not a "penalty", and therefore let that disaster stand. Darn right they affect you.
Naturally, with the retirement of Justice Kennedy and the opportunity for President Trump to nominate another solid and brilliant conservative mind to the Court, the left is up in arms. It is Armageddon, if you are to believe them. The end of the Republic.
Since even the left has to admit that this president has the Constitutional right -- and duty -- to nominate whomever he chooses to submit to the Senate for confirmation, they have to find a way to get the populace to support their opposition to whomever that may be. So naturally the left, fearmongers that they are, have gone straight to the target that they always default to, at least when they are not defaulting to race or Nazism or throwing innocent people out of restaurants.
Their target I refer to, of course, is women's bodies, and by that they mean abortion. Yes, according to the left and the press (but I ...), whoever the new justice is would immediately form a cabal with four on the Court now and overturn Roe v. Wade, the notorious decision that effectively legalized abortion (it's more complex than that, but who cares about facts). Roe, of course, is discussed in 99% of the news media's commentary on the new justice.
President Trump, this weekend, noted that in his interviews that he would not ask candidates whether they would vote to overturn Roe, and that's probably a good thing that he won't. First, of course, is that the Supreme Court does not make law, despite what Ruth Bader Ginsburg thinks, and cannot even debate the abortion precedents until someone actually brings a case where Roe is the precedent.
Since those under 30 have mostly never had enough U.S. History or Civics to have a clue, there are probably tens of millions of millennials who think the Court will overturn Roe the day after the new justice takes office. Hint ... it doesn't work that way.
Now I have to say that of the top 100 things I'd want to know about the new candidate justices and how they think, "abortion" is pretty much not on the list. It is a moral issue, and moral issues are the province of the States. So as long as the Federal government neither subsidizes it nor prevents it, I'm fine.
But I apparently don't have much company on the left.
Unfortunately I cannot go to the future and see what will be in ten years, but I'm going to put on my forecasting contact lenses and tell you what I expect.
The new Roberts Court with Justices Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch, Thomas and the new justice, will definitely have a dramatic impact for the better in many decisions that affect the nation, but I predict that not one of them will have the effect of overturning Roe v. Wade, and the current panic among the left -- and it is palpable -- will turn out to have been 100% accurate but 100% misdirected.
Even before Justice Kennedy has left, the Court, in Janus v. AFSCME, has done an amazing service to the nation -- and by effectively defunding Democrats, an amazing service to the preservation of our republic. That was the case making it illegal for government employee unions to force payment of union dues by non-members, a ruling which will drain many millions from use as donations to the Democrats.
It is Janus, not Roe (and, ironically, Janus was actually the overturning of a previous decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education), that we should be expecting more of, in the newly-comprised Court. In fact, I could easily see the new Court declining to accept cases that require a consideration of overturning Roe, simply because after 45 years, it is sufficiently established, whereas Abood was based not on a moral issue but a completely Constitutional one.
I'm looking forward to the new Court, but the press and the left are way off on this one. I imagine that Roe is far from on being the minds of either the President, the existing Court or the new candidates. I think that Roe is only out there because the left, like Bill Clinton, goes right for the women's bodies, or at least to the "sanctity" thereof.
This summer there will be a ratio of 26 questions from Democrats on abortion and Roe v. Wade, for every one about everything else combined -- watch the Senate hearings if you don't believe me. But that's all a red herring, and the left is making a huge mistake, especially given that if the candidate is as clean as Neil Gorsuch was, confirmation is a certainty.
The Democrats have an opportunity to raise all manner of situations to try to get the nominee on record with something they can try to use, but mark my words, it will be all abortion, all the time. The nation will get sick of it, and the Democrats will have lost an opportunity to raise issues that are important, at least to them, in a forum where they could speak to the people.
Don't hold your breath. The hearings may be all about Roe, but the new justice's tenure will be all about everything else.
Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
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